ear (2006-04)

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Hamby Or Not to Be

It’s for the Article

Commute for Cash

Insurgents Rally

The Ayes Have It

Bug in Our Ear

Hamby Or Not to Be

After months of engineering-related delays, some observed, the sign announcing their most recent promise of a spring opening had gone missing.

However, as of last week, A.G. Hamby is said to be still in the picture. Dewhirst has recruited Jon Clark , otherwise co-owner of the Bike Zoo, the successful bicycle shop in Western Plaza, and until recently a Market Square resident, to handle development of Dewhirst’s Market Square properties.

“Hamby has permission to start building,” Clark says. “We’ve provided them a $70,000 tenant buildout allowance.” Clark says that Dewhirst had at one point assumed Hamby was no longer in the game; as of last week, he says, they’re back again.

“The  ball’s in Hamby’s court, to build or not to build, at this point,” Clark says. “If it doesn’t work out, we have others who want to use the space.” It would have been the first retail store on the ground level of the old Watson’s space. Some other retailers on the Square had been getting restive about those dark storefronts. 

Clark says they’ve signed agreements with five tenants, two of whom favor #11, the Hamby slot. Dewhirst isn’t ready to name any of them yet: “two are restaurants,” Clark says. “One is a specialty-food retailer: not really a restaurant, but not a grocery, a carry-out store. One is a small retailer.” Regardless of Hamby’s fate, they’re going to start construction in early February.

“It’s happening. It’s gonna happen this spring.”

It’s for the Article

One of the articles is a Top 10 list of the Dirtiest Cops in America for 2005, one of whom was a Francis client. Four out of 10 of the “Filthy Harrys,” were the Campbell County deputies arrested for beating a drug suspect. Eugene Siler was questioned and abused for hours and his wife Jenny Siler got it all down on tape, which she turned over to the TBI. So Campbell County had 40 percent of the worst cops in America for 2005, according to the magazine.

The officers got prison terms from four to six years.

Commute for Cash

Using a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Smart Trips Cash for Commuters program will pay you $1 a day to use an alternative mode of transportation, a maximum of $60. You have to agree to walk, bike, take a bus or carpool. If you can telecommute, that might work as well.

You call 215-2916 and sign up during February, March or April.

Commuter programs that offer incentives, such as prizes, subsidized transit passes or preferential carpool parking are more successful at getting commuters to switch from driving alone, according to Jill Wolverton , employer outreach coordinator. The Smart Trips program currently works with area employers to set up incentives. Participating employers include Alcoa, city of Alcoa, city of Knoxville, Community Shares, Covenant Health, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Denso, Duncan Federal Building, Edison Schools, First Tennessee Bank, Goody’s Corporate Offices, Home Federal Bank, ImagePoint, Kimberly-Clark, Knox County, KUB, Lakeshore Mental Health, Metropolitan Planning Commission, ORNL, SAIC, TVA, UT and Y-12.

Insurgents Rally

Some of the speakers will include: Gary Sellers , who organized the petition drive that got the wheel tax to referendum, who is running against Commissioner John Mills ; Greg “Lumpy” Lambert , another organizer who is running for an open seat from Powell; and Mike Alford , who is running against Commissioner John Schmid. The three current County Commissioners who voted against the wheel tax, Mark Cawood , Paul Pinkston and Mike McMillan , are also scheduled.

Other invited guests include Crowne Plaza hotel manager Ken Knight , who lost a City Council race to Barbara Pelot , and Mark Saroff , owner of the McClung warehouses who has accused the city of not helping him to develop the downtown building, which are under threat of eminent domain proceedings by KCDC because of their blighted condition. The event is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Ayes Have It

The organization examined the votes in the most powerful of House committees as posted on the web last year. The House Finance Ways and Means Committee had 254 votes taken and not one of them was recorded. In 97 percent of the cases the entry was “Voice vote—ayes prevail.” In three percent of the cases some legislators had a no vote recorded but no vote had all members recorded.

“This is actually worse than no record at all,” says Ben Cunningham, spokesman for the group. “It gives the illusion that votes are being recorded when in fact there is no way to find out how individual members of the committee are voting to spend our $25 billion (the state budget) of taxpayer money.”

© 2006 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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